The Animal Welfare Act is designed to protect animals from mistreatment. But it doesn't cover an individual's abuse of domestic animals -- a crime that too often is not taken seriously.
David Ramsey, who beat and killed his dachshund puppy Junior, was convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, but given only a four-month jail sentence by a New York judge.
Crimes like Ramsey's are correlated with other serious offenses: for example, there is a strong link between abusing animals and committing domestic violence. This is Ramsey's second animal cruelty conviction, and upon hearing his sentence he reportedly just shrugged it off. In four U.S. states, animal cruelty carries no possible felony sentence; so his crime would have been considered only a misdemeanor in those states.
Tell the U.S. Congress to add on to the Animal Welfare Act to protect domestic animals from individual acts of abuse. Animal cruelty should have a possible felony conviction in all 50 states; a minimum sentence for such abuse should be set; and individuals convicted of these crimes should not be allowed to own animals.